today’s gender is rain

it touches everything

with its little silver


mottled like a brook trout

with a hundred spots

white as bark scars

on this slim trunk

thrust up from

one sidewalk square

the four square feet

of open ground

given a street tree

twiggy perimeter

continually clipped

by parking or car door

or passing trash truck

that snaps an actual

branch I find haunting

the little plot. . . .